Epiroc updates drill bits for longer life

The Epsilon² tricone drill bit. Image: Epiroc.

Epiroc has launched two drill bit products, the Omega S rotary and Epsilon² tricone, to boost drilling performance and longevity in underground and surface mining.

The Epsilon² provides peak performance of up to 100 per cent longer distances drilled, with tests across North America, South America and Asia returning average improved distances of 60 per cent longer than previous generation Epsilon model.

“The name Epsilon ‘to the power of 2’ is no coincidence,” Epiroc product line manager rotary Bahadir Ergener said.

“It’s more than an upgrade, it’s a new generation. Degrading of bearings was a long cause of bit failure, forcing customers to accept a slower rate of penetration (ROP) and shorter service life than necessary.

“Either the bearings would corrode due to moisture from water injection for dust suppression or overheat by friction.”

It combines Epiroc features Tornado, which channels cooling air over the hotter load side of the bearing, and Torrent, which removes moisture from the cooling air and reduces corrosion, to increase drill bit life.

The Omega S increases drill execution by up to 30 per cent due to its single sealed bearing bit, on which the seal eventually wears off.

Once this happens, cooling air flows over the bearings, transforming Omega S into an air-bearing bit, significantly boosting its lifetime.

This is a breakthrough for rotary drilling operations, allowing miners to drill faster at longer intervals and therefore maximising revenue.

“With the Omega S our customers get considerably lower cost per metre drilled,” Ergener said.

“The transformation from a single sealed bit to an air bearing bit is seamless and requires no downtime for the operator.”

Both the Omega S and Epsilon² will achieve Epiroc’s goals of reducing outtake of raw material, therefore its eco-footprint, due to daily bit replacement dropping to weekly and fewer total bits manufactured over the long-term.

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